Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2018--“That They All May Be One”  (Read 768 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Wally

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 5321
  • Romans 8:35, 38, 39
Lesson 3 October 13-19







“That They All May Be One”







Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon






So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: John 17:1-26, 1 John 5:19, John 13:18-30, John 5:20-23, Mark 9:38-41, Rev. 18:4, 1 John 2:3-6.

Memory Text: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:20, 21.

The Gospel of John provides us with a window into Jesus’ immediate concerns as His betrayal and death loomed on the horizon. In five crucial chapters (John 13-17) we receive Jesus’ last words of instruction, culminating with what has sometimes been called His “high-priestly prayer” (John 17).

“It is a fitting designation, for our Lord in this prayer consecrates himself for the sacrifice in which he is simultaneously both priest and victim. At the same time it is a prayer of consecration on behalf of those for whom the sacrifice is offered-the disciples who were present in the upper room and those who would subsequently come to faith through their testimony.” - F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 328.

Thinking about the disunity in the church and this statement by Mr. Bruce, and the verses being quoted, it is very clear that we are considering God's desire for His church to be abiding in Christ, as Christ was abiding in His Father. This is the only way to have Christian unity. Without Christ we are divided from those who have Jesus in the heart. To say the sinner has Christ in the heart is to lie just as did Satan when he told Eve she would not die if she sinned against God. Yet, this is the most common teaching in the church and in other denominations. Listen to the mis-translation of Romans 8:1 in many modern day bibles. "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." New American Standard Version. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," New International Version.

Satan is clever. This "Evangelical" translation is one of the most common quotes heard in professing Protestant denominations. Yes, they believe they have Christ "in" them when Christ is not in them. The KJV speaks the whole truth that keeps one from believing this lie if they will walk in the light God gives.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." KJV. When one sins a known sin, he is under condemnation and does not have Christ abiding in the heart, neither are they abiding in Christ.


At the core of this prayer is Jesus’ concern for unity among His disciples and those who would later believe in Him. This was a key theme in His prayer: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” John 17:9, 10.

No meaningful discussion of church unity, of our oneness in Christ, can be complete without careful attention given to this prayer. What did Jesus pray for, whom did He pray for, and what does His prayer mean for us today?

"That they may be one" is Jesus telling how it is that we will be one in the church. We cannot force others to love as Jesus loves. We cannot say obey and expect the church will obey. Jesus is telling us that if we want unity in the church, if we are going to walk together then we need to believe the same truth. We cannot walk together unless we be agreed on our fundamental beliefs?   "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3. No. How can we come into agreement? Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14.

In other words, if we are not walking in the light of His Spirit, we shall not be able to be in unity with those who are. We must do as did our Lord and Savior and become partakers of the divine nature. We must abide in Christ by allowing Him to live in our hearts. We must love Him with all of the heart holding nothing back.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 20.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Sunday          October 14

Jesus Prays for Himself

The high-priestly prayer is divided into three parts. First, Jesus prays for Himself (John 17:1-5), then for His disciples (John 17:6-19), and finally for those who would later believe in Him (John 17:20-26).

 17:20   Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 
 17:21   That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 
 17:22   And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 
 17:23   I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 
 17:24   Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 
 17:25   O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 
 17:26   And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. 


Read John 17:1-5.

 17:1   These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 
 17:2   As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
 17:3   And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 
 17:4   I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 
 17:5   And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 


What is the essence of His prayer, and what does it mean for us?

Jesus is acknowledging His mission to come to this dark spot in the universe to not only rescue sinners, but to glorify the only true God through revealing Him  (His character) by His life of holiness. For it is through the knowledge of our heavenly Father that we gain life eternal. Is there one particular verse in Scripture that reveals the underlying principle that will help us understand this truth? Yes, very clearly it reveals by knowing His character, by beholding it, we are transformed in character from sinners into saints which reveal His character. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.

Jesus intercedes first for Himself. In preceding events in the Gospel of John, Jesus had indicated that His hour had not yet come (John 2:4, 7:30, 8:20). But now He knows the hour of His sacrifice is here. The moment for the dramatic conclusion of His earthly life has arrived, and He is in need of strength to complete His mission. It is a time for prayer.

With Jesus it was always time for prayer. Each day was a great trial for Him.


Jesus will glorify His Father by doing His will, even if it means He must endure the Cross. His acceptance of the Cross is not some kind of fatalism; rather, it is in fact how He exercises the authority the Father has given Him. He did not die a martyr’s death but willingly glorified His Father by fulfilling the reason for His incarnation: His sacrificial death on the cross for the sins of the world.

Yes, but this was not involved in His prayer as much as was the truth that His whole life was glorifying His Father the only true God. And, that His mission was to bring fallen humans to the same point of glorifying our Father through our lives. By abiding in Christ and He in us, we reveal the same glory that Jesus does. This is the focus of His prayer. That we and Him will glorify the only true God by abiding in Him and He in us. "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

What is eternal life according to John 17:3? What does it mean to know God?

Just what is says, to know of His character. To know Him is to love Him. We love Him because He first loved us. It is His love, grace, that transforms us from sinners into saints. We must be reminded of who He is (His character) daily in order to maintain our connection with Him. By beholding Him, His character, we are changed into the same image (character) that we might be one (in character) and glorify Him who is the only true God.


First and foremost, Jesus tells us eternal life consists in our personal knowledge of God. This is not salvation by works or by knowledge, but rather it is the experience of knowing the Lord because of what Jesus has done for us at the Cross. This knowledge is mediated through a personal relationship with the Father. Our human tendency is to limit knowledge to facts and details, but here Jesus aims at something deeper and more fulfilling: a personal relationship with God. Jesus’ first advent was also for the purpose to guide humanity in its search for a more meaningful and saving knowledge of God and the unity with each other that such knowledge will lead to.

Amen! If we want unity in the church there must first be a conversion of hearts by making a full heart surrender to Christ. How can that be done? Listen to the Words of Jesus in John 3.

 3:3  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
 3:4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 
 3:5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 
 3:6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

 3:9   Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 
 3:10   Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 

 3:14   And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 
 3:15   That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.


Study the lesson given in the wilderness that it may be understand why Jesus brought the subject up when Moses lifted up the serpent.


What is the difference between knowing about God and knowing God personally? What experiences have you had that have helped you come to know God?

Knowing God leads to a broken heart, a new heart, which creates knowing God personally. We cannot trust someone we do not know.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online

Monday         October 15

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

Read John 17:9-19.

 17:9   I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 
 17:10   And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 
 17:11   And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]. 
 17:12   While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 
 17:13   And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 
 17:14   I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 
 17:15   I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 
 17:16   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 
 17:17   Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 
 17:18   As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 
 17:19   And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 


What is Jesus praying specifically about in regard to His disciples?

Jesus knows our weakness and our continual need of grace in order to glorify God. He is asking for that help that the disciples will be sanctified (made holy) through the indwelling of the Spirit.


Jesus prays next for His disciples, who are in grave danger of losing their faith in Him in the days ahead, when He, Jesus, will no longer be with them in the flesh. Thus, He commits them to the care of His Father.

The prayer of Jesus is for their protection in the world. As such, Jesus does not pray for the world, because He knows it intrinsically is opposed to the will of the Father (1 John 5:19). But because the world is the place where the disciples will do their service, Jesus prays that they may be preserved from the evil in the world. Jesus is concerned for the world; indeed, He is the Savior of it. But the spread of the Gospel is tied to the witness of those who will go and preach the good news. That is why Jesus needs to intercede for them that the evil one will not defeat them (Matt. 6:13).

One disciple, however, has been defeated. Earlier that evening Jesus had mentioned that one of them had decided to betray Him (John 13:18-30). Even though Jesus refers to the fact that Scripture had predicted Judas’s betrayal (Ps. 41:9), Judas was not the victim of fate. During the Last Supper, Jesus appealed to him in a gesture of love and friendship (John 13:26-30). “At the Passover supper Jesus proved His divinity by revealing the traitor’s purpose. He tenderly included Judas in the ministry to the disciples. But the last appeal of love was unheeded.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 720.

Knowing that envy and jealousies could divide the disciples, as it had done on occasion before, Jesus prays for their unity. “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:11, NKJV). Such unity is beyond human accomplishment. It can be the result and gift of divine grace only. Their unity is grounded in the unity of the Father and Son, and this unity is an indispensable prerequisite for effective service in the future.

Their sanctification or consecration in the truth is also indispensable for service. The work of God’s grace on the disciples’ hearts will transform them. But if they are to witness to God’s truth, they themselves must be transformed by that truth.

What does it mean to be “not of the world”? What is it about us, our lives, and how we live that make us “not of this world”?

If we are fully surrendered, then self is dead and Christ sits on the throne of the heart. We are filled with the Holy Ghost, therefore we manifest love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, not one of the fruits is missing. This is what it means to be sanctified, to be made holy. It is Christ in us that makes us partakers of His divine nature.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Tuesday         October 16

“For Those Who Will Believe in Me”


After Jesus prayed for His disciples, He broadened His prayer to include “those who will believe in Me through their word” (John 17:20, NKJV).

Read John 17:20-26.

 17:20   Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 
 17:21   That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 
 17:22   And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 
 17:23   I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 
 17:24   Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 
 17:25   O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 
 17:26   And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. 
 


What was Jesus’ greatest wish for those who would later believe in the Gospel message? Why is it so important that this prayer be fulfilled?

As the Father and Son are one, Jesus prayed that future believers would also be one. In a few places in the Gospel of John, Jesus referred to the unity of the Father and Son. They never act independently of each other, but are always united in everything they do (John 5:20-23). They share a common love for fallen humanity to the extent that the Father was willing to give His Son for the world, and the Son was willing to give His life for it too (John 3:16, 10:15).

The unity Jesus refers to in this prayer is a unity of love and purpose as it is between Father and Son. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, NKJV). Manifesting this unity in love will give public confirmation, both of their relationship with Jesus and with the Father. “The display of their genuine unity ought to provide a compelling witness to the truth of the Gospel.” - Andreas J. Köstenberger, John, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), p. 498.

"Ought to"? No, it will. Read again what Jesus said. He did not say it ought to, but that it would. If the unity is not there, then what conclusion can we draw?


This is how the world will know that Jesus is the Savior. In other words, this unity Jesus prayed for cannot be invisible. How can the world be convinced of the truthfulness of the Gospel if it cannot see love and unity among God’s people?

It is very hard to overcome the fact that many who profess to love and serve Christ do not manifest this unity. What can be done to rectify this Laodicean condition?

“God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. … God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith. The prayer of Christ just prior to His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one, even as He was one with the Father, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’”

“How earnestly should the professed followers of Christ seek to answer this prayer in their lives.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 17.


What are we doing in our lives and churches to help reach the kind of unity presented here? Why is a certain amount of death to self crucial for each of us if we want our church to be united as it should be?

Before I comment on this statement, does anyone see a difficulty with what was said? If so, what is  wrong with it?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Wednesday         October 17

Unity Among Christians


Read Mark 9:38-41 and John 10:16.

 9:38   And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 
 9:39   But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 
 9:40   For he that is not against us is on our part. 
 9:41   For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 

10:16   And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd. 


What does Jesus’ response to the apostle John teach us about exclusivism and quick judgments about who is a true follower of Jesus?

Seventh-day Adventists have tended to understand Jesus’ prayer in John 17 as directly applying to the unity of their church denomination. We must be united as a church to fulfill our mission to share the three angels’ messages to the world. On this point, there is little contention.

But what about unity with other Christians? How are we to relate to them in light of what Jesus had prayed?

No question, we believe that God has faithful people in other churches besides our own. Besides, the Bible makes it clear that God has His faithful ones, even in Babylon: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4, NKJV).

At the same time we know that according to the book of Revelation, there is great apostasy among those who profess the name of Christ, and that in the last days many false Christians will unite with each other and with the state in order to bring about the persecution graphically depicted in Revelation 13:1-17. Hence, Adventists always have been very careful about getting involved in calls for unity with other churches, such as seen in the ecumenical movement.

How can someone call for unity and expect it when we do not agree? The Bible says we cannot walk together unless we be agreed. Let's get more specific as to what this means. The unity that Christ is speaking of in our lesson this week is not something someone can call for and expect it to happen. No, we must go to Jesus in order for this unity to appear. We are unified with all who love God and keep His commandments. Who love God supremely holding nothing back. Any other unity is not of God.


How, then, should we relate to other denominations? Ellen G. White wrote the following in regard to the Seventh-day Adventist Church working together with other Christians, at least on this specific issue: “As the human agent submits his will to the will of God, the Holy Spirit will make the impression upon the hearts of those to whom he ministers. I have been shown that we are not to shun the W.C.T.U. workers. By uniting with them in behalf of total abstinence we do not change our position regarding the observance of the seventh day, and we can show our appreciation of their position regarding the subject of temperance. By opening the door and inviting them to unite with us on the temperance question we secure their help along temperance lines; and they, by uniting with us, will hear new truths which the Holy Spirit is waiting to impress upon hearts.” - Welfare Ministry, p. 163.

Though she was dealing with a specific issue at a specific time, she does give principles that we can follow regarding how we relate to other Christians, especially on the question of uniting around a cause.

First, we can work with them on common social interests. Second, if we do unite with them, we must do so in a way that will not compromise our beliefs or practices. Third, we can and should use this “unity” to share with others the precious truths with which we have been blessed.

Our first effort ought to be to share the gospel with other Christians. If they understand, then praise God. But, to share doctrinal truth without first sharing the gospel of grace will not work very well. The last message of mercy is the three angels message which begins with proclaiming the gospel to the whole world.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online

Thursday         October 18

One Faith Shared in Love


In John 17:3, Jesus said that eternal life is to know God. Read 1 John 2:3-6.

 2:3   And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 
 2:4   He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 
 2:5   But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 
 2:6   He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 


What does it mean to know God? How do we demonstrate our knowledge of God in our daily lives?

Generally, while people in society today wish to call themselves law-abiding citizens, these same people often will downplay the biblical obligation to keep the commandments of God. Some even argue that God’s grace does away with God’s commandments. But that is not the biblical teaching: “Keeping the commandments is not a condition for knowing God but a sign that we know God/Jesus and love Him. Therefore, knowledge of God is not just theoretical knowledge but leads to action.” - Ekkehardt Mueller, The Letters of John (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press, 2009), p. 39. Jesus Himself emphasized: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:15, 21, NKJV). “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2, 3, NKJV).

Read John 13:34, 35.

 13:34   A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 
 13:35   By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 


What new commandment did Jesus give His disciples, and how does this relate to the idea of unity among Jesus’ followers?

The command to love one’s neighbor was not new in itself; it can be found in the instructions God gave Moses (Lev. 19:18). What is new is Jesus’ command for His disciples to love one another as He has loved them. Jesus’ example of self-sacrificial love is the new ethic for the Christian community.

What a wonderful standard has been set before us! Jesus’ life had been a practical demonstration of love in action. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. We can imagine that Christ’s life was an unceasing manifestation of love and self-sacrifice for the good of others. The principle that actuated Christ should actuate His people in all their dealing with one another. What a powerful witness such love would be to the world. And what a powerful force for unity among us such love would provide, as well.

Until we have that love, all ought to understand what the problem is when we discuss unity. Where is the call for revival and reformation? Until there is, there will not be a unified church, not in the manner in which we are reading this week. If we break one of the commandments, we offend in all. Why is this? What does it have to do with unity in the church?


How can we learn to reveal the kind of self-sacrificing love for others that Jesus had revealed?

The answer is always the same, we need to be fully surrendered to Jesus. We need to love Him with the whole heart, not 90% of it. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit then we shall have love, joy, and peace no matter how many are unconsecrated in the church.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Friday          October 19

Further Thought: Ellen G. White, “God’s Law Immutable”, pp. 443-446, in The Great Controversy. Read the articles “Denominations, Relations to Other”, pp. 763, 764, and “Roman Catholic Church”, p. 1110, in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia.

“Although the Seventh-day Adventist church is a worldwide church with many local churches, Adventists do not claim to be Christ’s universal church. The universal church is broader than any denomination. It is visible and invisible insofar as it consists of those who believe in Jesus and follow him. This particular theological issue is heightened if we take into consideration apostasy among Christians, addressed poignantly in the Book of Revelation. The pure church of Revelation 12 is contrasted with the ‘harlot’ of Revelation 17, Babylon the great city, which in turn is contrasted with the bride of the Lamb, the holy city or the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22. In the first century, the universal church may have been quite visible, it is much more difficult and complex to see it, for instance, during the Medieval Ages.

Therefore, Adventists do not limit the concept of God’s true church to their own denomination, nor do they automatically extend it to other Christian churches. God’s true church consists of those individuals who truly believe in [H]im. God knows them. Adventists, on the other hand, claim that they are God’s special visible end-time remnant of Revelation 12:17 and chapters 12-14. This remnant has a local as well as a universal character (Rev. 2:24 and 12:17).” - Ekkehardt Mueller, “The Universality of the Church in the New Testament”, in Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, ed., and Message, Mission, and Unity of the Church (Silver Spring, Md.: Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2013), p. 37.

Discussion Questions:

    Why is the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 so important for our church? What does Jesus’ desire for the unity of the first-century church reveal about His desire for our church today?

    Has your local church worked with other Christians on certain issues? How well did that go? How can we work with them, when appropriate, without compromising any of the truths that we have been given?

    What are the implications of this statement in The Great Controversy? How can we make this real among us? “If God’s professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ ‘There is,’ he says, ‘one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.’ Ephesians 4:3-5.” - Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 379.

Summary: Jesus’ high-priestly prayer in John 17 is a reminder that Jesus still is concerned about church unity today. His prayer should be our prayer, and we should seek ways to solidify our faith in God’s Word. Love for one another also should characterize our relationships to everyone, including other Christians, whatever our theological differences may be.

It could be easier to love our enemy than to work with those in Babylonian churches. Why? But, is it really a question of being easy or hard? If we love Jesus supremely and are filled with the Spirit, then the fruit of that relationship is love towards God and man.

Working with those not of our faith does not include allowing them to stand in the pulpit of God's church.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Glen

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 773
  • Rescue the perishing, care for the dying...
Sunday          October 14

Jesus tells us eternal life consists in our personal knowledge of God. This is not salvation by works or by knowledge, but rather it is the experience of knowing the Lord because of what Jesus has done for us at the Cross.

I submit that our salvation is indeed the fruit of works AND knowledge. Yes; AND " it is the experience of knowing the Lord because of what Jesus has done for us at the Cross." ...as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:20, 26 ...be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 It is the melding of the human with the divine by human submission to the indwelling possession by the Spirit of God, that works righteousness. ...the gospel of Christ...is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth... Romans 1:16

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ Titus 2:12


"eternal life consists in our personal knowledge of God" ONLY as the hearer humbles ones self in acknowledging God, both in thought AND in deed; contrasted by the fact that as Lucifer DID NOT; thus, subsequently the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12

"...knowing the Lord because of what Jesus has done for us at the Cross."
, understanding that For[God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

It is the "work" of God to save us, both at justification, and through continuing sanctification of the Spirit ...because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth... 2 Thessalonians 2:13

...to the degree that the spirit of the world dwells in our heart, it will control our life. 2SM 129 (note "the spirit of the world" vs. the Spirit of God)

Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.—The Desire of Ages, 672.

The law is an expression of God's idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin. “Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them”—cause them to stumble. There is no peace in unrighteousness; the wicked are at war with God. But he who receives the righteousness of the law in Christ is in harmony with heaven.
The Faith I Live By 83


The wondrous fact of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, gives the Believer the divine assurance that he or she HAS the victory, for Christ reigns within.

As long as you are true to yourself, no adverse power of earth or hell will be able to destroy your peace or interrupt your communion with God. This Day With God 334

The only condition on which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. Sin can triumph only by destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one's self—to the true glory and dignity of man.  From Heaven With Love, p. 315.3
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Glen

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 773
  • Rescue the perishing, care for the dying...
Subjection to God is restoration to one's self—to the true glory and dignity of man.  From Heaven With Love, p. 315.3

So; could we perceive that Satan's "selfishness" persona, is the counterfeit of self-possession, as when one is fully submitted to God's divine Will?

As long as you are true to yourself, no adverse power of earth or hell will be able to destroy your peace or interrupt your communion with God. If you fear God, you need not walk in uncertainty. If you please Him you will secure everything which your soul requires. This Day With God 334
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Glen

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 773
  • Rescue the perishing, care for the dying...
"...our Lord... consecrates himself for the sacrifice in which he is simultaneously both priest and victim” - F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 328.

We were discussing in Sabbath School how Christ could be "priest" and "simultaneously both" as "victim". I raised a question regarding where Scripture specifies that: For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest... Hebrews 8:4 Can anyone help me with this? Is there another thread in TRO where this is discussed?

Or; is the answer simply(sic) the fact that He was that:
...priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. Hebrews 7:15, 16 ? The undeniable fact that He raised from the dead?!

The "carnal commandment"; designated thus, because God found fault with the people because of their unbelief, and could only condemn?
...the law made nothing perfect... Hebrews 7:19 concerning God's professed people, from Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden, including the freed Hebrews, and with all mankind down through history, because: ...the word preached did not profit [us], not being mixed with faith in [we] that heard it. Hebrews 7:4 ?
Since even the New Covenant cannot profit those who have no faith?


He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 1 John 2:9 As the loving hand of Christ is stretched out still...for them also which shall believe on [Christ] through their word... John 17:20; Revelation 12:11


...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39761
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
"...our Lord... consecrates himself for the sacrifice in which he is simultaneously both priest and victim” - F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 328.

We were discussing in Sabbath School how Christ could be "priest" and "simultaneously both" as "victim". I raised a question regarding where Scripture specifies that: For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest... Hebrews 8:4 Can anyone help me with this? Is there another thread in TRO where this is discussed?

I don't think this has been discussed here, Glen. I am not sure, but I think Jesus was a prophet and a victim, and a Savior while here, but His priestly ministry was making use of the sacrifice He made as He ministered in the heavenly Sanctuary after He ascended. Howdoes that sound?

Quote
Or; is the answer simply(sic) the fact that He was that:[/color] ...priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. Hebrews 7:15, 16 ? The undeniable fact that He raised from the dead?!

The "carnal commandment"; designated thus, because God found fault with the people because of their unbelief, and could only condemn?
...the law made nothing perfect... Hebrews 7:19 concerning God's professed people, from Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden, including the freed Hebrews, and with all mankind down through history, because: ...the word preached did not profit [us], not being mixed with faith in [we] that heard it. Hebrews 7:4 ?
Since even the New Covenant cannot profit those who have no faith?

The new covenant promise reveals that God will transform all who come to Him, to learn of Him, learn to trust Him, just as they are. That is ther is nothing good in us until we surrender all and allow Christ to come into the heart. When we speak of "works" in a theological sense, we are talking about obedience in keeping the law in order to earn salvation, which is impossible. We cannot keep the law from the heart, unselfishly, until we are converted. Thus, the New Covenant works for our salvation before we surrender by promising the prize since Jesus has already provided His part of the deal, and is drawing all to Himself before conversion.  We are not alone before conversion. The New Covenant promise is ours to understand and ours to partake of if we will learn of Him who gave all for us. In so doing we see His grace and it is this grace that brings us to the point of surrender and conversion. The more we see His grace the harder it is to "kick against the pricks" of the Holy Spirit revealing His love for us while we were yet sinners.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.